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On Intergenerational Occupational Mobility



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his is with reference to the article on intergenerational occupational mobility by Sripad Motiram and Ashish Singh (“How Close Does the Apple Fall to the Tree? Some Evidence from India on Intergenerational Mobility”, EPW, 6 October 2012) in which they comment, “…there are only few studies that have focused on the issue of intergenerational mobility”. It seems that the authors have missed some stray but important works conducted on the topic of intergenerational occupational mobility in the field of economics in India. In India, the subject of intergenerational occupational mobility was first studied by Sovani and Pradhan in their 1955 paper who focused their analysis on the data gathered in the resurvey of Pune city carried out in 1954 by the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (“Occupational Mobility in Poona City between Three Generations”, The Indian Economic Review, Vol 2, No 4). Based on a 4% random sample of families, their study revealed that though 54.3% in their sample registered upward occupational mobility, the overwhelming importance of those who are stable spoke of the essential stability of the occupational structure of Pune. Other studies on occupational mobility were that of Nijhawan and of Jetley, both published in EPW in 1969. Occasionally as one takes up an entirely different issue, there are references to occupational mobility. For example, Hirway in her 1979 paper published in the Indian Journal of Labour Economics speaks about the impact of the green revolution on intergenerational occupational mobility in the Matar taluka of Gujarat. Similarly, Vasishta in his 1990 study published in

the journal Social Action, while discussing the profile of “marginalised irregulars” in the informal sector of Ludhiana city, studied intergenerational occupational mobility. This writer worked on the issue of intergenerational and intra-generational occupational mobility in Calicut (now Kozhikode) during 1990-93 and found great immobility between fathers and sons and mothers and daughters in the matter of both intergenerational and intra-generational occupational mobility (Pattern of Intergenerational and Intragenerational Occupational Mobility: A Study of Calicut City, unpublished PhD thesis, University of Mysore, 1993. See also Varma and Rayappa papers published in Manpower Journal and Artha Vijnana in 1999 and 2000, respectively.) Most classifications of occupations like the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) 1949 International Standard Classification of Occupations and census classification focus on economic activity while defining occupations. Contrary to this, researchers in disciplines like sociology view occupation as a social function or role performed by an individual and his location in the social scale. This basic difference between the two approaches to occupation leads to a very wide gulf between methodologies in economics and in other disciplines. While the desirability of using secondary data sources to study intergenerational occupational mobility is limited, Motiram and Singh rely on such sources for their analysis, in their case the India Human Development Survey data. On close examination, the way in which Motiram and Singh classify occupations as farmers (self-employed in agriculture), selfemployed in non-agriculture, and workers is faulty which arises out of the confusion between the terms occupation and employment status. In the ILO’s 1949

Web Exclusives
The following articles have been uploaded in the past week in the Web Exclusives section of the EPW website. They have not been published in the print edition. (1) Dussehra Festivities in Mughal Shahjahanabad – Rana Safvi (2) Adivasis and the New Land Acquisition Act – Chitrangada Choudhury (3) Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh: Almost a Fait Accompli? – Trinadh Nookathoti Articles posted before 12 October 2013 remain available in the Web Exclusives section.
october 19, 2013 vol xlviII no 42
EPW Economic & Political Weekly


These surely are historic judgments. Uttarakhand and West Bengal – the calorie intake at official poverty lines ranged between 1.800. In Meghalaya and Nagaland no persons in households reached the 2. NOTA: The New Provision ost observers have acknowledged that the Supreme Court has passed two landmark judgments that pave the way for major electoral reforms in Indian sociopolitical system.200 calories are 86. This is a line which our authorities are all too fond of too. the concerned authorities Economic & Political Weekly EPW T october 19.9 and 28.400 calories at the respective official poverty lines. published on 5 October 2013. affecting half or less of the rural population were registered by Himachal Pradesh. and this alone determines the particular group to which the person is assigned. in our hypothetical situation. While the first one will help to give the country a good.8. 11. It is an egregious nexus between the drug companies. Puducherry and Tamil Nadu. We see from Table 6RU that in rural India the official poverty lines are underestimated to the greatest extent in six states where energy intake at these lines is extremely low. 14.” On the other hand. 52. which export the trials of their drugs to poor countries. (2) On page 57. and the second is the order to the Election Commission to make provisions for the option of “none of the above” (NOTA) in the ballot paper or electronic voting machines. where actual poverty affects 60%. There are reports which show that doctors find it much more lucrative to conduct CTs than their practice. corruption-free and transparent governance.6. Haryana.1 and 21. which showed such alacrity in banning the products from Ranbaxy in their country and also conducting rigorous inspections at their factory at Mohali. 85%. Suppose more than 50% of those voting exercise the NOTA option.2. 92 and 76. the cost of accessing it could only be obtained by projecting the relation between MPCE and calorie intake. make it difficult to develop a representative definition of occupational mobility suiting Indian conditions. because the possible outcome may delegitimise the conventional result. also to withdraw from the trial at any point. similarly the population of rural Delhi and Goa could obtain a mere 1. the second one will give the voter greater flexibility and freedom for the expression of his/her preferences. Jammu and Kashmir and Tripura (36.700: Arunachal Pradesh. 38 and 48. 56 and 89 compared to the official percentages of 26. Panampilly Memorial Government College. Several problems crop up while developing a particular definition of occupational mobility in the Indian context. Visakh Varma Retired Principal. But they have profound theoretical and practical implications in social choice and voting procedure. “Food and Agriculture Organisation Corporate Statistical Database” should have read as “FAOSTAT database”. These have been corrected and the corrected version of the article has been placed on the EPW website. free and complete consent of the subjects involved and their right to question. somehow fails to subject their own drug companies. (1) The following text was inadvertently left out of the print edition (p 55) and is published in full below. In rural Delhi. West Bengal Errata The article “Poverty Trends in India 2004-05 to 2009-10: Updating Poverty Estimates and Comparing Official Figures” by Utsa Patnaik. 26. The actual poverty ratios in Gujarat.500 per month. Uttarakhand and West Bengal were 76. because the majority votes have been vol xlviII no 42 M Egregious Nexus his is in response to the EPW editorial “On Trial and Found Wanting” (12 October 2013). what would be the legitimacy of this election? Tapan Kumar Mukherjee Burdwan. Haryana.150 calories accessible at the official line. The first is the judgement which upholds forfeiture of membership of Legislative Assembly or of Parliament if convicted by a court of law for two years and more. Failing so miserably at the first hurdle towards conducting a safe and legitimate CT clearly leaves no hope for the thousands of poor. Chalakkudy. Puducherry is the extreme case with only 1. inequality. Goa and Kerala the official poverty ratios are only 7. contained the following errors. The new dispensation will ensure more wise and rational choice of deserving candidates and people’s representatives by majority decisions. Thrissur.7. will the winner be morally entitled to be democratically elected? It seems that the legal position is that the NOTA votes will be similar to the invalid votes and the winner will be chosen from among the valid votes cast. NOTA is likely to remove the restrictions on individual preferences by expanding choice one bold step further through the aggregation procedure. to such scrutiny claiming “jurisdictional” conflicts. Kerala in both the countries involved and most unfortunately the doctors. But it should be remembered that energy requirements are higher as well in those of the hill states which have a cold climate – the average calorie intake in those states is about 200 calories per capita per day more than the all-India average and the lowest observed level is also about 150 calories per day higher. Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.700 and 1. Pavan Comment on EPW website against any one candidate. The lowest levels of actual poverty. employment status or work status refers to the nature of employment of that individual. only 1. which enables this multimillion dollar industry to blossom at the expense of many unsuspecting Indians who still consider doctors as gods and will toe the line mechanically as and when they are asked by the doctors to do so. etc. Meghalaya. 18. clean.550 and 1. heterogeneous character of the labour market. Poverty. The first step to a clinical trial (CT) naturally is obtaining the informed. unequal opportunity. 2013 5 . It is even more unfortunate that doctors are known to attach caveats for treating the needy which forces them into CTs in order for them to receive treatment. and 85% of persons whereas official poverty percentages are 26. The Food and Drug Administration of the United States. it was nearly as high as in rural Delhi.550 calories per day: Delhi. difference in skill levels in rural and urban environments. In four states – Gujarat.200 calories nutrition norm. At Rs 2. But this system may have one serious sociopolitical consequence which demands thoughtful consideration. respectively.7. illiterate and helpless Indians falling into this vicious trap.2. respectively).LETTERS classification. “The occupation of any person is the kind of work which he or she performs. Goa. Kerala. However.150 to 1.5 and 12 whereas the percentage of persons unable to obtain 2. Another three states show calorie intake at official poverty lines of between 1.

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